Theater der Welt 2026 will be organized jointly by The Festival Academy, Theater Chemnitz and Chemnitz 2025 European Capital of Culture
Germany’s largest international theatre festival, THEATER DER WELT, will be held in Chemnitz in 2026. On Tuesday, on the occasion of their visit to THEATER DER WELT 2023 in Frankfurt and Offenbach, Claudia Roth, the Minister of State for Culture, and ITI President Yvonne Büdenhölzer entrusted the festival to Christoph Dittrich, the artistic director of Theater Chemnitz, and to Dagmar Ruscheinsky, the Chemnitz Mayor for Culture.
“With THEATER DER WELT, an internationally renowned event on the theatre scene is coming to Chemnitz. THEATER DER WELT stands for diversity and openness, for a wide range of influences and forms of expression — all of which can enrich not just the performing arts, but also social cooperation. In 2006, THEATER DER WELT will be able to access the networks and infrastructure that Chemnitz is building up as European Capital of Culture 2025. Chemnitz will thus be able to bring new life into the festival, just as the festival will bring new life into Chemnitz. I wish the team in Chemnitz all the best,” said Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth.
The awarding of this 17th edition to Saxony was accepted unanimously by the Board of Directors of the International Theatre Institute - German Centre following a call for applications.
“The concept put forward by Die Theater Chemnitz, Chemnitz 2025 European Capital of Culture and The Festival Academy in Brussels sustainably and convincingly combines national and global cultural management and curation resources. At last, the Board of Directors is awarding the Festival to an East German city,” as Yvonne Büdenhölzer, the President of the German ITI Centre, explained the decision.
Die Theater Chemnitz, The Festival Academy in Brussels and Chemnitz 2025 European Capital of Culture will together be responsible for the festival and its organisation. For the first time in the history of THEATER DER WELT, a municipal theatre including all five performing art forms will be managing applications together with an internationally renowned cultural management organisation from Belgium and with the extra support of the infrastructure connected to a Capital of Culture.
The artistic directors of the festival, which include Christoph Dittrich, general manager of Die Theater Chemnitz, Inge Ceustermans, general director of the NGO The Festival Academy Brussels and Stefan Schmidtke, programme director of Kulturhauptstadt Europas Chemnitz 2025 GmbH, are preparing to set up and bring together an international team of curators. The team of curators, who will be taken from all continents, will be responsible for the contents and artistic design of the programme.
Partnership, equal rights, sustainability, interdisciplinarity and digitality form the basis of the construction and constellation of this team, which will act together both on the national and international levels. The overall management sees itself as a “global, artistic and organisational team”.
The Festival Academy Brussels is part of the cultural capacity building mentioned in the Bid Book II of Chemnitz 2025 European Capital of Culture. This kind of capital of culture initiative already tends to have enduring international and regional effects before the year in which the city is Capital of Culture, and well beyond it.
After Hamburg 2017, Düsseldorf 2021 and Offenbach-Frankfurt 2023, the festival is now going to Chemnitz — and will be returning to Saxony once more exactly 30 years after its 1996 edition in Dresden.